Ajax sign Brazilian Neres, sell El Ghazi

Amsterdam, Feb 1 (IANS) Dutch football giants Ajax have signed Brazilian youngster David Neres from Sao Paulo FC for a record fee and sold Anwar El Ghazi to French club OSC Lille.

Neres signed a deal in Amsterdam for four-and-a-half years until mid-2021 on Tuesday. Ajax paid around $12 million, which can rise to $16 million including bonuses. The transfer fee makes the 19-year-old winger the most expensive player ever bought by a Dutch club from a foreign side, reports Xinhua.

The former record was held by PSV, which signed Serbian striker Mateja Kezman for $11.3 million from Partizan Belgrade in 2000. Neres is the second-most expensive Ajax signing ever, after Miralem Sulejmani, who arrived from Dutch club SC Heerenveen on a transfer fee of $16.3 million in 2008.

Neres is currently playing for Brazil at the U-20 South American Championship in Ecuador and will come to Amsterdam when that tournament finishes. The winger scored three goals in eight matches for Sao Paulo FC in the 2016 season in the Brazilian Serie A.

“He is one of the biggest talents in South America,” said Ajax Director Marc Overmars in a press release on Tuesday. “I am glad he chose to play for Ajax.”

At the same time, Ajax sold El Ghazi to French side Lille OSC for around $9 million. The 21-year-old winger scored 24 goals in 74 league matches for Ajax. Under coach Peter Bosz, who started his reign last summer, El Ghazi was not a regular starter.

Ajax also reached an agreement with English Football League Championship side Norwich City for the loan of 23-year-old left back Mitchell Dijks for the rest of the season. Reserve goalkeeper Tim Krul, who was on loan from Newcastle United, moved to AZ Alkmaar for a new loan spell.